Pantry Cooking Month: Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi: Who says pantry cooking has to be austere?

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Day 0: Shrimp scampi, angel hair pasta, zucchini medley
Ingredients bought for this meal: None.

I had two pounds of (raw, peel-on) shrimp in the freezer, some parsley left over from the short ribs, and some lemons that were about a week past their prime. Time for scampi, I say.

Shrimp Scampi

We don’t eat shrimp often, as you probably guessed from my fanatical devotion to cheap eats, but every now and then, there’s a sale or I feel extravagant. This was an excellent time to have this dish—what better way to reassure the family that Pantry Cooking Month won’t be a drag than to make them something this lovely, this decadent, this over-the-top? I even decided to use the whole two pounds of shrimp, rather than a more judicious amount, so we each got a plate like this:

Shrimp Scampi

This is a very easy dish to make. Even easier of you buy shrimp that’s already peeled, but I don’t tend to do that because it’s cheaper to buy it with the shells on, and I like saving the shells to make shrimp stock with. Five ingredients, and maybe six or eight minutes to make, including chopping the garlic and parsley. If you start some angel-hair pasta right before you make the dish, you’re golden.

Anyway, this makes a lot—I’d say 6 servings or so, but halving it’s easy, so do as you like. It’s easy easy easy to make, and only requires one pot (you can even use the same pot to cook some pasta, but whatever’s easier for you is fine).

The side dish is zucchini, onions, garlic, and a can of diced tomatoes, cooked in a little butter. Okay, maybe a little more than a little. This is my house, after all.

Basic Shrimp Scampi

1 stick (1/4 lb.) butter
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. raw shrimp, shelled and deveined (do NOT use cooked shrimp for this unless you’re desperate)
1 bunch of parsley, most of the stems removed, chopped finely
juice of 2 lemons

In a 3-quart or larger cooking vessel (wok works fine; this time, I used a 3-quart saucepan), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook just until all the shrimp has turned opaque. Add the parsley and lemon juice. Cook a minute more and you’re done.

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Author: Serene

I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.

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